Medicare is modernizing its website to make it more useful for beneficiaries, particularly younger ones accustomed going online for information from insurers, hospitals and doctors.
Administrator Seema Verma announced the changes Monday, including a five-point questionnaire to help seniors decide between original Medicare and private plans offered under Medicare Advantage, an online calculator to help estimate out-of-pocket costs, a webchat option and a simplified login.
But some consumer advocates said the new features seem to paint Medicare Advantage plans offered by private insurers more favorably than original Medicare. Medicare officials deny the assertion.
Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription plans starts Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7.
More than one-third of beneficiaries are already in private plans, a growing share of the program.